Trump claimed he would drain the swamp. Now the first member of Congress to endorse him is pulling out of his election following a corruption arrest.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), the first member of Congress to endorse Trump's campaign for president, has now announced that he will not be running for re-election following his arrest for insider trading.
Collins has now become one of the biggest examples of how, while Trump and fellow Republicans have made a lot of noise about "draining the swamp," corruption is on a rampage. And it's largely directly attributed to Trump and his cronies.
Trump has steadfastly refused to mention the Collins arrest or answer questions about it. Yet Collins identified himself as Trump's "liaison" to Congress during the presidential transition and talked up his connections to Trump in his hometown papers in upstate New York.
Collins allegedly alerted his son, his son's fiancée, and a network of others about the failure of clinical trials at Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company where Collins served on the board and owned millions of shares. The insider trading is said to have saved the Collins network at least $780,000, the value their shares would have lost if they didn't have preferential access to information through the congressman.
Nate McMurray is the Democratic nominee in the race, who called on Collins to step down when it appeared he was going to keep running.
Previously, a spokesperson from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee described the McMurray campaign as "strong," and said that despite Trump winning the 27th congressional district in 2016, the seat was "firmly in play."
Across the country in seats that heavily went for Trump, Democrats have been winning races or fielding stronger than expected challenges to Republican candidates.
The growing drumbeat of corruption is not helping the party, and nobody is a better symbol of that than Trump himself. Trump has kept open ties to his family business, resulting in his D.C. hotel becoming a corruption hub for foreign and Republican Party interests.
Since the first day of his presidency Trump has been engulfed in a tide of ethics violations and outright corrupt practices. He has used the presidency as a way to promote his holdings and campaign merchandise.
After the Collins arrest, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi noted, "The charges against Congressman Collins show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among Republicans in Washington today."
Trump and Collins are part of a corrupt system that has attached itself to the government. Collins disastrous fall and the electoral troubles facing dozens of Republicans shows that there is a price to pay for the party's decision to fill the swamp.